Etsy Prepares Ahead of Amazon Inc's Threat

P2P e-commerce website Etsy has built its solid reputation in selling handmade crafts over the years since artisan crafts hit mainstream. However, Inc.'s soon-to-launch 'Handmade' may conquer the newly set battleground as Etsy's fear of its own merchants defecting to the titanic e-commerce's new site for trading their goods arise. The move has prompted the P2P e-commerce website to launch a new program that is aimed at connecting its individual sellers with manufacturers capable of producing their goods.

Etsy's Senior Vice President of Member and Community, Heather Jassy said that a new program will assist its merchants scale up to larger orders without their crafts losing their quality. Etsy Manufacturing, or what Etsy's new program is called, will connect merchants with pre-approved manufacturers in both the United States and Canada.

"Most of all, we wanted to empower sellers to construct their businesses and lives in ways that work best for them, on their own terms," Heather Jassy wrote. "Our sellers tell us over and over that growing responsibly is important to them, and we want to enable that."

The move by Etsy comes months after Amazon Inc. had announced 'Handmade' to cater to artisans and sell its unique, handcrafted goods to its own massive customers and user base around the world, marking the start of what could be a battle between the two e-commerce giants.

However, the recent moves made by Etsy have made a number of its loyal sellers displeased, and it does not address their primary concern. "I went from being a big fish in a handmade ecosystem to being a little fish in a saturated market," said Stacy Mecklenburg, a merchant of handmade swimsuits when she had to compete with cheaper manufactured goods to cater to the masses.

Amazon had first sent invites to Etsy merchants since the announcement of 'Handmade' May. There is still no official launch date for Amazon's new service, however. But some sellers have said over the forums that they were sticking with Etsy, stating reasons such as the effort involved in managing another store presence and the fees that come with Amazon Inc.'s services.

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